September 21, 2014

6 Easy Steps To Become A Freelancer

Are you an expert? To you have an unusually awesome talent? Why not become a freelancer?

A freelancer is a self employed person who works for a variety of companies in a specific niche. Freelancers are often called independent contractors. They seek out their own work and are almost always available to work. Since they work under their own name, they don’t have to set up a proper business.

Freelancers typically work their own hours from a location of their choice. They can work as little or as much as they want and ultimately trade off of their talent and reputation. Some freelancers can make up to 6 figure salaries – others make enough to pay a few bills.

Freelancing is great career option. It’s wise to start freelancing slowly. Use it as a way to supplement your other job. If you become super busy, you can always commit to freelancing full time. You can freelance in a wide variety of niches. Most freelancers focus on writing. Others specialize in graphic design, web development, marketing, blogging, editing, translating, or coding.

To break into the world of freelancing, this is the traditional route to freelance success:

  • Write. Design. Create. – Do what you do. And do it a lot. It’s up to you to constantly create content. Take your best work and use it as your portfolio – just because you weren’t paid for your work doesn’t mean it can’t be a part of your portfolio. Your work is your talent. Do a good job and show it.
  • Create A Website or Blog – After you have a bit of quality content, showcase it via your web presence. Let the world know about it. Market it through your social media outlets (Hint: It’s pretty easy to link your web presence and social media accounts).
  • Establish Your Rates – Even if your starving, you can’t work for peanuts. You deserve to get paid what you are worth. Do not work for free! You can consult other freelancer rates to see what they charge, so you can be competitive. Unfortunately if charge nothing, people expect nothing.
  • Find Freelance Jobs – Hit up your network to see if anyone needs of your services. Try cold calling companies. It’s not fun, but it can be effective. It takes confidence and talent to sell yourself. You can always enlist the help of websites like Guru or Elance to market your skills – but be careful of clients who don’t want to pay a decent wage. Most freelance projects are short term contract jobs not long term projects.
  • Market Yourself – After you have a few paying gigs under your belt, it will be easier to market your skills. Add your new work to your portfolio (if you’re allowed), publish positive feedback on your blog, start a newsletter, and continue to network.
  • Write. Design. Create. – Ideally you will find a regular and consistent paying gig. If not, always keep creating, writing, or design to continually hone your skills and create useful content. Often you can do this and then see if people will purchase your work.

Freelancing is an awesome career choice. Before you quit your day job, be sure to test the freelance waters for your niche. If things are going well, escape the office and start freelancing full time.

About this Author 

Derek Lennon is a skier and writer who lives, works, and plays in the mountains. He travels the globe in search of snow and adventure. Life has allowed him to live and work all over the world doing cool jobs and loving every minute of it.

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